non-essential businesses

As the Garden State continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 122 on April 8, 2020, imposing additional restrictions on businesses permitted to continue operating.  The Order takes effect at 8 p.m. on April 10, 2020 and expands on Governor Murphy’s earlier Stay at Home Order requiring the closure of non-essential retail businesses.  The Order imposes requirements on the operations of essential businesses, requires all employers to adopt policies pertaining to potential exposures in the workplace, and requires that owners of buildings where essential businesses operate implement cleaning protocols.

Continue Reading Governor Murphy issues Executive Order further limiting business operations in New Jersey

On April 3, 2020, Governor Michael Parson announced that Missouri residents will be required to stay at home to protect the public health and prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in accordance with an order issued by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (“DHSS”) to take effect on April 6, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. CT through April 24, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CT, unless extended. The full text of the order can be found here. Governor Parson had declared a state of emergency on March 13, 2020, and directed the DHSS to mandate social distancing and discourage social gatherings of more than ten people. However, prior to the April 3 order, Missouri was one of only a few states nationwide that had yet to issue a statewide stay at home order.

Pursuant to the stay-at-home order, all Missouri residents should avoid leaving their homes or places of residence unless to work, to access food, prescription medication, health care, grocery stores, gas stations, banks or “other necessities,” or to engage in outdoor activity. The order also allows travel to and from their place of worship and permits the sale and transfer of firearms. Importantly, the order mandates that, at all times (including even when engaging in the above permitted activities), individuals must practice social distancing of at least six feet, and prohibits social gatherings of more than ten people at the same place and time.
Continue Reading Missouri issues statewide stay at home order to prevent spread of COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly, with the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. well above 200,000, Georgia has now joined the growing number of states implementing statewide stay-at-home orders. Although Governor Brian Kemp initially favored county-by-county determinations, he recently announced a statewide Shelter-in-Place Order, as well as an order shutting down all Georgia public schools for the remainder of the academic year.

The governor’s comprehensive Shelter-in-Place Order, which is in effect from 6 p.m. on April 3, 2020 through 11.59 p.m. on April 13, 2020, supersedes the far less restrictive March 23, 2020 order. In addition to requiring residents and visitors to remain in their residences (with certain limited exceptions), the Order also implements a number of additional restrictions and mandates on Georgia businesses.

Continue Reading Georgia’s Shelter-in-Place Order imposes new restrictions in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19

Effective 8 p.m. on April 1, 2020, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is under a stay at home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order, which encompasses all counties throughout the Commonwealth, prohibits individuals from leaving their place of residence except as needed to access, support, or provide life-sustaining business, emergency or government services. The order is currently slated to remain in effect through April 30, 2020.

This order comes on the heels of Governor Tom Wolf’s March 23, 2020 order, which initially provided for such restrictions in only seven of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Over the course of the following week, the original order was amended six times to eventually encompass 33 counties, yet was still limited to areas where community spread was assumed. Now, as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases throughout Pennsylvania climbs to nearly 6,000, and the number of cases nationally rapidly approaches 200,000, Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order reaches every county in the Commonwealth.

Continue Reading “Staying at home means you must stay home”: Pennsylvania’s governor issues state wide stay-at-home order

On March 30, 2020, in the latest effort to combat the COVID-19 virus, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued Mayor’s Order 2020-054 ordering District of Columbia residents to “stay at home” effective April 1, 2020. Previously, Mayor Bowser declared a public emergency [Mayor’s Order 2020-045] and a public health emergency [Mayor’s Order 2020-046], directed the closure of non-essential businesses, and prohibited public gatherings of more than 10 people [Mayor’s Order 2020-053]. The Mayor’s Orders are designed to keep the maximum number of people in their residences to the greatest extent feasible, while enabling essential activities, government services, and businesses to continue functioning.
Continue Reading District of Columbia residents ordered to “stay at home” to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus

On March 30, 2020, the governor issued Executive Order 55 requiring all individuals in Virginia to stay in their place of residence, with certain limited exceptions, until June 10, 2020. Specifically, the order permits individuals to leave their homes for the following purposes:

  • Obtaining food, beverages, goods, or services as permitted in Executive Order 53;
  • Seeking medical attention, essential social services, governmental services, assistance from law enforcement, or emergency services;
  • Taking care of other individuals, animals, or visiting the home of a family member;
  • Traveling required by court order or to facilitate child custody, visitation, or child care;
  • Engaging in outdoor activity, including exercise, provided individuals comply with social distancing requirements;
  • Traveling to and from one’s residence, place of worship, or work;
  • Traveling to and from an educational institution;
  • Volunteering with organizations that provide charitable or social services; and
  • Leaving one’s residence due to a reasonable fear for health or safety, at the direction of law enforcement, or at the direction of another government agency.


Continue Reading Virginia update: Governor issues temporary stay-at-home order and other measures to address COVID-19

On March 30, 2020, Governor Larry Hogan ordered Maryland residents to “stay at home” as part of Maryland’s ongoing response to COVID-19. The full text of the stay-at-home order can be found here. The order becomes effective March 30, 2020, at 8 p.m. EST and remains in effect until further notice. Governor Hogan announced that the order is in response to the people of Maryland ignoring his prior orders and directives for the past three weeks, endangering themselves and others. “We are no longer asking or suggesting that Maryland residents stay home – we are directing them to do so,” Hogan stated. The March 30, 2020, order amends and restates a prior March 23, 2020, order prohibiting large gatherings and events, and closing senior centers and all nonessential businesses and other establishments. Guidance on the March 23, 2020, order can be found here.

The order requires all persons living in the state of Maryland to stay in their homes or places of residences, except to participate in essential activities, as defined below, or to conduct essential business.
Continue Reading Maryland residents ordered to “stay at home” effective 8 p.m. EST March 30 to prevent the spread of COVID-19

As part of Virginia’s ongoing response to COVID-19, on March 23, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order 53 temporarily closing recreational and entertainment businesses and restricting certain other non-essential businesses statewide. The order also bans gatherings of more than 10 people and closes K-12 schools for the remainder of the academic year. These closing and other restrictions are effective from 11.59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 through 11.59 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, 2020.

Recreational and entertainment businesses temporarily closed

The order requires the one-month closing of the following recreational and entertainment businesses:

  • Theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, museums, and other indoor entertainment centers.
  • Fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, and indoor exercise facilities.
  • Beauty salons, barbershops, spas, massage parlors, tanning salons, tattoo shops, and any other location where personal care or personal grooming services are performed that would not allow compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain 6 feet apart.
  • Racetracks and historic horse racing facilities.
  • Bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, arts and craft facilities, aquariums, zoos, escape rooms, indoor shooting ranges, public and private social clubs, and all other places of indoor public amusement.

The order also requires the temporary closing of dining and congregation areas in restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, and farmers’ markets. However, these businesses may offer delivery and take-out services as long as they are able to comply with social distancing and hygiene requirements.

Continue Reading Virginia’s response to COVID-19: temporary closure of recreational and entertainment businesses, restrictions on other non-essential businesses and school closures

Texas is taking a localized approach in trying to slow the spread of COVID-19. Since Monday, March 23, 2020, county and city governments from some of Texas’s largest metropolitan areas have issued “stay home-work safe” orders. This includes Dallas County, Harris County (where Houston is located), and Travis County (where Austin is located).

Each of the three orders affecting Dallas, Houston, and Austin allow “Essential Businesses” to remain open. While each order has a slightly different definition of “Essential Businesses,” all three orders include in their definitions of essential businesses the 16 critical infrastructure sectors identified by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). “Non-essential businesses” are allowed to continue operations on a limited basis in varying degrees under each of the three orders. More detail on each of the orders is below.

For specific information on your city or business, employers should review the relevant order and its impact with the assistance of counsel to determine whether their operations are “Essential Businesses.” Determining whether your operations are essential businesses is highly fact specific, and companies should exercise caution when making that determination. Those businesses deemed “non-essential” should also consult their attorneys to assess next steps allowed under the applicable order.

Continue Reading Texas metro areas issue shelter-in-place orders to slow the spread of COVID-19

In an effort to reduce in-person workforces in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut has joined New York, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, and several other jurisdictions in restricting the operation of “non-essential” businesses. More specifically, on March 20, Governor Ned Lamont issued an executive order requiring all “non-essential” businesses to reduce their in-person workforces by 100 percent by tonight (March 23) at 8 p.m. “Non-essential” businesses may, however, permit staff on-site to the minimum extent necessary to provide security, maintenance and receipt of mail and packages. “Non-essential” retailers may be staffed on-site, provided that they only offer remote ordering and curbside pick-up or delivery. This measure is scheduled to last until April 22. The governor’s order emphasizes implementing remote work arrangements for all employers to the greatest extent possible.

Continue Reading Connecticut orders all non-essential businesses to close offices to reduce in-person workforce amid COVID-19